MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Despite an offense that was virtually absent for most of the second half, Miami made an eight-point halftime lead stand up for a 30-12 victory over Virginia Tech in a key Atlantic Coast Conference game Thursday night.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Hurricanes (5-3, 4-2 ACC) and put them alone in first place in the ACC's Coastal Division.
Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3) lost for the second consecutive game and fell under the .500 mark for the season. The Hokies still retain a mathematical shot at getting back to the ACC Championship Game for a third consecutive year, but they will need lots of help.
The Hurricanes were up 20-12 at the half but managed only 3 yards of total offense in the third quarter.
But the Hokies couldn't capitalize, losing a fumble at Miami's 1-yard line, missing a 47-yard field goal and then overthrowing an open receiver on fourth-and-1 at Miami's 39.
Miami finally got a touchdown on Duke Johnson's 7-yard run and a field goal in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Miami went to the locker room at halftime up 20-12 but both teams lost opportunities to add more to their scoreboard total.
The Hokies had to kick a field goal on second-and-goal from the 2-yard line because they ran out of time. Five seconds remained in the second quarter and they still had a timeout left, but decided not to risk going for the touchdown.
Coy Journell kicked a 20-yard field goal, his second of the first half, as time ran out.
The Hurricanes, on the other hand, also had to settled for field goals following big but non-scoring plays. The first came after Johnson, whose 81-yard kickoff return had set up Miami's second touchdown, broke off a 65-yard run from scrimmage to Virginia Tech's 10-yard line.
The second game after quarterback Stephen Morris had completed a pair of passes to wide receiver Rashawn Scott and two more to tight end Clive Walford to move Miami from its own 4 to Tech's 15. But both times the Hurricanes could no farther.
Miami needed a total of 35 yards for its two first-quarter touchdown drives. Besides Johnson's kickoff return to Tech's 19-yard line, the Hurricanes need only 16 yards to for their first score after blocking a punt.
The Hokies' first-half touchdown came on quarterback Logan Thomas' 73-yard run through the middle of the Miami defense.
NOTES: Miami rushed for 73 yards in the first half with 65 coming on the one run by Johnson. ... The blocked punt was the first given up by the Hokies since the 2010 season opener against Boise State. ... Thomas' 73-yard run was a career-long for the junior.